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Turkey, past and present

I’ve had this sensation of time passing by much quicker at 50 than at 15.

If time keeps accelerating at this pace, everything will be a blur to me at 60.

Which might not be a bad thing.

My message to you younger readers is ... chill out. Enjoy your youth. It, like a junior high crush, will leave you quick as a midnight text message.

When I was a kid, thinking about the next Christmas at 9 a.m. on the current Christmas morning (after unwrapping the last gift) was done in the perspective of a millenia.

Back then, grass grew faster than the second hand on a clock moved.

Decades later, the span between one Christmas morning and the next is perceived in a few short months, if not weeks. Maybe even days.

Thanksgiving is no different. This Thursday will be the first one without Daddy Bob.

He and Mom made every one of these holidays, from the first I can remember on, a truly memorable time vith visions of family embraces and traditions constructed and cherished. Dad relinquished his annual carving of the turkey the last few years, but he never gave up the “HO! HO! HO!”s playing Santa around the Christmas tree.

From our earliest years, I and my four sisters had the most awesome of Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday experiences imaginable, far as we were concerned.

Living in the Panhandle, we’d drive to Hereford and MaMa’s house for the Thanksgiving feast. Dad’s mom doted over each and every one of the five K’s upon arrival. She’d have turkey and ham cooked, giblet gravy and a wonderful dressing recipe that Mom still makes to this day. Exquisite mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, three different jello salads, fruit salad, apple cake, mince meat and pecan and pumpkin pies (and the Texas vs. Texas A&M game after the meal).

All of that is still made to this day, per tradition, except for the mince meat pie, which seemed unneccesary, except for a chosen few!

Something about cooking that dinner on an O’Keefe-Merrick stove, 50s vintage, that made the meal even tastier. Though even now, each time I bite into the dressing and giblet gravy cooked from a modern kitchen by Mom, flashes of childhood fill my head, with the same smells, the same tastes, and the same sense of safe.

This year will be the first without Dad, and my youngest son Dillon will be 1,036 miles away in Indiana (eating a similar but different meal with Midwest influences) ... but I will have with me Mom and three of four sisters (the other is stuck in Atlanta, trying to sell a house) and their families, my oldest son Brady and an entourage from Fort Worth including his mother, girlfriend and her boy and mother.

And I plan to give each and every one a bear hug (especially the guys, just after they’ve eaten and before the Cowboy game).

We all have so much to be thankful for, in this season, despite being well-aware the world is going through troubled times.

Troubled times never really leave us. And maybe that is God’s way of offering you more appreciation for the good times you do have.

I know I’ve had my share of good times. Especially with family.

On a last note, I saw a program on television Monday that swelled my heart with pride for what I believe this country is best at.

A farming family in Colorado harvested their potato crop, but had a surplus remaining and advertised in a paper they would allow anyone the opportunity to fill bags of the remaining spuds for themselves. They initially expected a crowd of 10,000.

Over 40,000 showed up, and with thanks emptied the fields of a remaining estimated 600,000 pounds of potatoes.

Hopefully that farming family made their own share to keep the business running.

On Monday, they made themselves right with The Man.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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